IBC 2019: MultiDyne acquires Census Digital and unleashes next-gen SMPTE-HUT series
MultiDyne Fiber Optic Solutions (stand 11.D40) has acquired Toronto-based Census Digital, a specialist in professionally-engineered signal processing, distribution, conversion, and monitoring gear. In addition, the company comes with a new generation of its legacy SMPTE-HUT system, a universal camera transceiver that frees camera operators from the limitations of hybrid cabling.
Census Digital Acquisition
The acquisition strengthens MultiDyne’s value proposition for professional audio monitoring and processing applications in broadcast, live production, and commercial AV. MultiDyne will also take ownership of Census Digital’s existing fiber transport solutions, including an array of rackmount and openGear modular solutions that complement MultiDyne’s vast fiber-optic product line.
“MultiDyne and Census Digital are known worldwide as problem-solvers in their areas of specialty: fiber transport and signal monitoring,” said Frank Jachetta, CEO, MultiDyne. “There is no question that the two areas are complementary for broadcasters and content producers working across a variety of live production environments, and Census Digital’s audio innovations add substantial power to our value proposition. This acquisition empowers us to innovate and deliver more complete solutions to our customers that leverage the strongest technical capacities of both companies.”
The Census Digital acquisition comes at a time of robust multi-year growth for MultiDyne. The company has grown exponentially since 2010, and has pursued aggressive international growth in 2019. This includes the appointment of business development leaders in the EMEA and APAC regions, while continuing to add resources in North America.
Bob McAlpine, President of Black Pearl Management Group and a special advisor to MultiDyne, helped facilitate the acquisition and consulted with both companies throughout the process. “Census Digital has developed a strong reputation as an innovator over the past 10 years, and we recognized common synergies with MultiDyne from a product development and business perspective,” said McAlpine.
The Census Digital acquisition adds valuable engineering talent and strengthens MultiDyne’s presence in Canada, as MultiDyne will retain Census Digital’s Toronto headquarters. Jachetta will oversee the combined operations, bringing MultiDyne and Census Digital engineers together on new product development initiatives and integration of existing product lines. MultiDyne will also publicly retain the Census Digital brand in product branding and other communications for a period to be determined.
“While we anticipate new product lines that merge our combined strengths, we see many opportunities to build transport capability into existing Census Digital products, notably the C-SERIES of embedded audio monitors and openGear audio conversion and distribution modules,” said Jachetta. “Known for its engineering prowess, Census Digital brings exceptional value and synergy to our market-leading fiber-optic systems. This is the right acquisition at the right time as we continue to diversify and expand.”
“The opportunity to become an integral part of MultiDyne’s global growth adds incredible strength and resources for our sales and engineering talent,” said Census Digital Co-Founders Douglas Bascombe and Michael Jordan. “We look forward to continued innovation and growth as an important and strategic brand within the MultiDyne family.”
The latest SMPTE-HUT generation also integrates optical budgeting and remote power cycling, removing the need for external docks to regenerate signals for long-distance camera-to-studio transmission.
“There are certainly cost- and labor-saving benefits through using a single fiber strand, notably in stadiums or metropolitan areas where it’s necessary to lease fiber,” said Jachetta. “The real value comes through the SMPTE-HUT’s ability to regenerate optical power within the fiber. The optical budget is also now viewable on the device, giving camera operators a detailed troubleshooting tool to quickly determine if there is a power issue or another problem. The ability to remotely cycle power adds further value, allowing operators to reset cameras and make power adjustments as required.”
The next-generation SMPTE-HUT also integrates a higher level of intelligence than previous versions. For example, the devices will now operate with every SMPTE camera model and vendor, and translate important settings and details to the built-in display.
The SMPTE-HUT remains one of MultiDyne’s popular product lines with outside broadcast and mobile production companies for long-distance transmission. The devices eliminate the need to mix copper connectivity with fiber, enabling faster setup and strike times while reducing weight on trucks. The elimination of copper also removes RF, EMI and grounding issues from the infrastructure, ensuring the best possible signal integrity over very long distances.